Medical Assistant Schools & Salaries In Illinois

ASO Staff Writers
Updated June 30, 2023
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Illinois expects to have 3,560 job openings for medical assistants during the period ending in 2022, making it a great time for those interested in the profession to pursue an education. Illinois medical assisting schools prepare students with the skills necessary to support licensed health care professionals in a variety of settings. Programs are offered at community colleges, career colleges and vocational schools in Illinois. While wages vary depending on the exact location, medical assistants in Illinois earn slightly above the national average.

If embarking on a career in a growing field sounds enticing, find out the requirements for becoming a medical assistant in Illinois, from education to certification and more.

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Best Medical Assisting Schools in Illinois

Those looking to help others and impact the health and wellness of their community can look no further than a career in medical assisting. A rewarding career, medical assistants work with patients in hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities, taking vital signs, scheduling appointments and maintaining patient records. Working as a medical assistant starts with earning a degree or certificate in the field. We’ve done some of the research for you as you begin your search for the right program, looking at student-to-faculty ratios, tuition rates, student surveys and career placement. Find out how the programs stack up in our Illinois Top Schools for Medical Assisting list.

Highland Community College
LocationHighland, KS

Incoming college students that have a passion for medicine, but may not be interested in spending too much time in school, may wish to pursue a two-year associate of applied science degree in medical assisting at Highland Community College. Graduates from this program are well rehearsed in administrative procedures necessary to successful management of a medical clinic or doctor’s office. Students attending Highland who are interested in achieving greater autonomy in their academic scheduling may also wish to consider taking some of their courses online. In addition to academic advising, career counseling, and disability services, Highland also provides its students with a large selection of student services to help ensure a productive college experience.

Southwestern Illinois College
LocationBelleville, IL

Achieving a career as a medical assistant is an attainable goal when studying in an associate of applied science or a certificate program for medical assisting at Southwestern Illinois College. As is the case with all SWIC programs, the medical assisting program is made up of courses with small class sizes, allowing students to feel assured that they will receive any necessary facetime with their professor. SWIC also offers several programs which are meant to be transferred into four-year schools, allowing for continuation in a bachelor’s program. Financial aid coverage is available in a variety of forms for any student who has met the necessary requirements.

College of Lake County
LocationGrayslake, IL

In addition to completing an associate of applied science in medical assisting with the College of Lake County, students also have the option to complete two compatible certificates, one in health care office assisting and one in medical assisting. Graduates from these programs will be able to exhibit an impressive understanding of administrative procedures unique to the medical field, making them an excellent candidate for employment after graduation. CLC’s academic advisement office readily offers its students guidance through their academic programs, helping to avoid any pitfalls throughout their college career.

College of DuPage
LocationGlen Ellyn, IL

Pursuing the College of DuPage’s medical assisting program is an excellent opportunity for students who are eager to begin a successful career as a medical assistant in a hospital or medical clinic. Like most programs offered at the College of DuPage, this program can be completed in just a few short semesters, giving students the chance to start their dream jobs as soon as possible. Students can blend traditional on-campus courses with online learning opportunities to have more flexibility in their academics. The College of DuPage is further beneficial for students who are interested in completing a college program, but don’t want to pay high tuition costs typical to higher education.

Illinois Medical Assistants: Certification & Training Requirements

1. How is medical assisting defined in Illinois?

A medical assistant supports licensed health care professionals by performing a wide variety of administrative and clinical tasks in a clinical environment under direct supervision. They carry out basic tasks such as updating and filing medical records, as well as taking vital signs and sterilizing equipment to help the office stay on schedule.

2. Is medical assistant certification required?

Medical assistants in Illinois do not need to acquire a license or certification to work in the state. However, there are more employment opportunities available for certified medical assistants because of the comprehensive training involved with the certification process.

3. Is certification available for medical assistants?

Illinois medical assistants can become nationally certified by one of several different agencies. Approved national certifications include (but are not limited to):

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – Certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – Certified by American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)

4. Does a medical assistant need to have a formal education and/or training?

Medical assistants in Illinois do not require formal education or training to perform tasks as long as they are delegated by a supervising licensed physician. Nurses are not permitted to delegate any tasks that require a nursing license.

5. What type of formal training is available?

Formal training in an accredited postsecondary program is available to prepare medical assistants for clinical tasks such as withdrawing blood, administering medication, and initiating IVs under the supervision of a licensed physician.

6. What other skills do medical assistants learn in a formal training program?

Medical assisting schools in Illinois cover a wide range of skills, including (but not limited to):

  • Performing skin tests
  • Administering and disconnecting IVs
  • Collecting blood and other specimens
  • Monitoring an electrocardiogram
  • Taking and recording vital signs
  • Medical coding
  • Electric charting

Medical Assistant Salaries in Illinois

The following Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary figures compare 2014 medical assistant earnings in Illinois and the nation.

 Annual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Source: BLS, 2014

City Salaries for Medical Assistants in Illinois

Medical assistants in Illinois can earn considerably different salaries depending on location, illustrated in the table of 2014 wage amounts from BLS below. Salaries for medical assistants are higher in the Champaign-Urbana area and lowest in Decatur.

AreaAnnual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Bloomington-Normal, IL$26,410$32,520$42,510$15.64
Champaign-Urbana, IL$27,210$32,450$36,750$15.60
Chicago-Juliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI$26,420$30,820$36,540$14.82
Danville, IL$23,950$27,180$30,300$13.07
Decatur, IL$21,820$25,360$30,760$12.19
Kankakee-Bradley, IL$24,810$30,780$35,310$14.80
Peoria, IL$26,840$31,530$37,220$15.16
Rockford, IL$25,180$30,850$35,950$14.83
Springfield, IL$23,380$26,840$30,210$12.90
Source: BLS, 2014

Factors such as an aging population of baby boomers and national access to health insurance can greatly influence the demand for medical support personnel in the U.S. While the projected growth rate for Illinois medical assisting jobs is somewhat below the national average of 29 percent, the state still expects an additional 3,560 jobs to fill by the period ending in 2022 due to a need for health care personnel to assist with administrative and clinical duties. The table below outlines the projected growth of Illinois medical assisting jobs with those nationally.

Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022

 Average Annual
Employment 2022
*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022

Spotlight on Medical Assisting Schools in Illinois

With such a wide range of options for medical assisting schools in Illinois, we’ve chosen three standouts among the community colleges, private career colleges, and vocational schools in the state to get you started.


School Type:
Community college

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs

School highlights:
Each student must complete a clinical practicum in one of a variety of settings in the local area.
The medical assistant program is part of the Health Sciences & Homeland Security division of the school.
The certification pass rate for graduates is 84 percent averages over three years.

Programs offered:
Medical Assistant Certificate
Medical Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree

Southwestern Illinois College


School Type:
Community College

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs

School highlights:
The five-year weighted average for passing the CMA credentialing exam for graduates of the medical assisting program is 94 percent.
Students who elect to take one additional course may sit for the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification exam to become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (PBT).
The average retention rate for the past five years is 84 percent.

Programs offered:
Certificate, medical assistant
Associate in Science, medical assistant

College of DuPage

Resources for Medical Assistants in Illinois

Advance Practice of Medical Assistants
This document by the AAMA defines advanced medical assisting skills and areas of knowledge to help medical assistants in Illinois and other states pursue relevant continuing education opportunities.

CMA Today Article – Illinois Nurse Law Safeguards Physician Delegation to Medical Assistants
Find out about the revised Nurse Practice Act from the Illinois legislature and the provisions relevant to medical assisting jobs in Illinois.

Illinois Society of Medical Assistants
The Illinois chapter of AAMA provides local chapter information, forms, manuals, and details about state meetings. Visitors can also learn about opportunities for medical assisting jobs in Illinois.

The Medical Practice Act of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation permit physicians to delegate certain clinical procedures and administrative functions to medical assistants, included in this document., Illinois Medical Assistants
Learn about salaries for medical assistants in Illinois and sort through job listings.

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